FAQs: 2016 Criteria - Online Programs

  1. What does student involvement in service look like in a distance-based program?
  2. How can a distance-based program deliver professional development activities?

1. What does student involvement in service look like in a distance-based program?

For fully online programs, it may be important to query your students to be able to respond to this criterion. For example, you can collect data from students about their professional and community service activities. You may wish to establish an online space and/or a mechanism for students and faculty to share service opportunities, since most online programs have "clusters" of students in certain geographic areas. You can then track the postings and develop a mechanism to follow up with students to learn whether they took advantage of any of the opportunities. Also, some programs (distance and in-person formats) provide support to students for memberships in organizations such as APHA and attendance at professional meetings and conferences.

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2. How can a distance-based program deliver professional development activities?

How a program delivers professional development depends on its mission and defined communities of interest. Distance-based programs need not address the entire world as their community. Just as you deliver your curriculum online, you can also offer professional development activities online. For example, one online program identified their preceptors as a community of interest, surveyed them and then developed webinar trainings based on their preceptors' identified needs.

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